This salad, great in winter and early spring when most tasty fresh vegetables are unavailable, is very versatile. Use any mushroom or assortment of mushrooms to your taste and availability: cultivated mushrooms such as oyster, king oyster, enoki, beech, “seafood” mushrooms, shiitake, white, cremini, etc., or seasonal wild mushrooms of any type. Greens can vary, too; use flavourful one’s such as chrysanthemum, mizuna, arugula, frisée lettuce or baby kale or milder greens such as baby spinach, mixed “spring” or “Asian” young greens or your own mix.
1 to 2 tbsp / 15 to 30 mL vegetable oil
1 lb / 500 g mushrooms (see above), cut into bite-size pieces
¼ tsp / 1 mL salt
1 tbsp / 15 mL sake
2 to 3 cups / 500 to 750 mL greens (see above)
3 tbsp / 45 mL roasted sesame seeds
3 tbsp / 45 mL sake
1 tbsp / 15 mL mirin
1 tsp / 5 mL sugar
1 tbsp / 15 mL water
2 tsp / 10 mL sesame oil
2 tsp / 10 mL light soy sauce
1 tsp / 5 mL dark soy sauce
1½ tsp / 7 mL rice vinegar
Sesame Sauce: Grind sesame seeds in mortar or blender until quite fine paste. In small saucepan, bring sake, mirin and sugar to a boil; reduce liquid by half and remove from heat. Stir in water, sesame oil, light and dark soy sauces and vinegar; mix or blend liquid with sesame seeds until smooth. Set aside.
Plate greens on serving dish. Heat skillet over medium-high heat; add just enough oil to coat bottom. Add mushrooms; stir-fry until coated with oil, then sprinkle with salt. Stir-fry until lightly wilted. Stir in sake and stir-fry over low heat until mushrooms are just tender. Scrape into bowl; let cool slightly then toss in Sesame Sauce. Scrape over greens.
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